Two unions to hold strike ballots over ‘unacceptable’ Sellafield pay increase
10 Aug 2017
Unite and GMB are holding strike ballots over a “completely unacceptable” pay increase offer that was rejected by union members at Sellafield nuclear facility.
Of the site’s 11,000 staff members, 5,000 belong to either Unite or GMB.
The majority of Sellafield staff, which belong to the Prospect union, have accepted the pay offer, Sellafield said in a statement.
“We’ve offered our workforce a 1.5% increase this year – which is an increase to our wage bill of over £12 million year-on-year,” the statement said.
It added: “After a ballot of their members this has been accepted by one union, which has collective bargaining rights for over half the workforce, and rejected by two others who, between them, have collective bargaining rights for the remainder.”
In response, Unite bosses labelled the pay offer “completely unacceptable”.
The union’s regional officer Graham Williams said: “Last year’s pay award was one percent, but members agreed to take only 0.25% in order to keep existing apprentices on an agreed rate.
“Low pay awards have been the order of the day for some time at Sellafield with the well-founded suspicion that this award dovetails with the government’s harsh pay restraint policies.”
GMB said Sellafield has “ignored repeated requests” to hold additional talks about the pay offer, adding that it had been imposed on staff.
GMB senior organiser Chris Jukes said: “GMB members at Sellafield understandably voted by nine to one to reject the company's pay offer which was less than half the RPI inflation rate.
“With Sellafield refusing to meet us, GMB has little alternative than to ask our members if they wish to take strike action to achieve a fair pay offer.”
Ballots will open next week and are expected to close in the first week of September.
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